The Helicopter Is Just Fluff
I always thought this song was really dynamic and full of vitality. Back then it also had a certain dark quality (maybe all the cold reverb and echo work). It's almost like an unintentional Gothic aspect which kinda scared me (in the way the movie Labyrinth scared you). Still the dark quality, even though not scary at all to me anymore, is still there and it just gives this ordinary pop song a unique quality. This is one of the best of the 80s and a best for Phil Collins, no doubt.
The video, on the other hand, is just a waste of time in my opinion and it cheapens the song almost beyond belief. In fact, the video is the reason the song gets four stars instead of five. Ok, they're on the stage singing, but why the need for the helicopter? It's just showing off for no reason, and normally that's fine, but it's not that interesting- it's only a helicopter- why not just watch Miami Vice? Philip Bailey (from Earth Wind & Fire) shouldn't have worn the all leather get up. That's Eddie Murphy's thing- on him it's red and it's great, but I think this is lame. Plus who knows what Mr. P. Collins was thinking about with that potato sack-looking sweater. Ok, it's blue not brown but he still looks like a frumpy old Mr. Rogers type, about to sit with the pipe and an old copy of Moby Dick next to the fire. I H-A-T-E the way they took out the original vocals and put in the ones from the video- it's hideous!
They should have made it a bit more (sorry to say this, but) Michael Jackson's style, with a bit of serious attitude instead of just goofing off. It's just not the right song for that. The whole thing about it is it sounds clean and a bit cold (metallic) and putting in the extra audio just messes it up. Then when they drop the mic's and Collins starts doing that wiggle dance I just feel a bit embarassed for the entire human race.